What is really fantastic is the CTA Holiday Train, a/k/a Santa's Express, a/k/a the Christmas Train. The Chicago Transit Authority has operated this holiday-time transit for the past 19 years with each CTA line getting to experience it. I have always managed to miss it except for one year when I was going out to a suburban shopping center on a Friday evening and as I got on the Kennedy Expressway, there it was! I honked and waved out my window. "Hi, Santa!" I yelled. I suspect Santa did not notice me because the Kennedy is noisy morning, noon, and night; that year, like most years, there was nothing left for me courtesy of the North Pole. (Never mind that I rent and have neither a tree nor a fireplace.) This year the Christmas Train found me.
When the Christmas Train operates, it royally honks up whatever train line it is on. I ride the Blue Line with a coworker. Thanks to a slow-moving Holiday Train, on Thursday it took over an hour to get home. On Friday, there was another vast crowd at the station where we board and I said the Christmas train had already come through and that things were messed up. My friend looked up the track and said about the approaching train, "That's the Christmas Train." I said, "No, it can't be," and he told me to look. It was indeed the Christmas Train.
My reaction was this: I started jumping up and down with glee (not a good look for a big, middle-aged woman). I clapped my hands with joy. There was a lot of waving when Santa passed on his flat-bed car. I was so delighted that I almost started crying from sheer happiness. I guess I'd wanted to ride the Christmas Train more than I thought I did.
|Santa's Express interior|
|Next on TMZ, Santa at ORD|
I took a regular CTA train back toward home, delighted that something so simple could make so many people so happy and even more so that I could feel this sort of delight, and I am delighted it was the CTA that did it. Now if they'd just fix the actual transit system, I would be delighted 365 days a year.
|Wishing you and yours peace, good health, and great joy.|